MadLab’s UFC 243 Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying…
UFC 243 MAIN CARD
Robert Whittaker $8200 vs. Israel Adesanya $8000 TITLE FIGHT
Adesanya seems to have it all. Good striking, Slick movement, and just a very good persona for fighting. We questioned his takedown defense and it has actually been holding up. He has some tough goes and some questionable performances but coming out on top is really all you can ask for and he has been doing just that. He’s long, rangy, throws extremely good combos and he has very good cage IQ for such a young branded fighter. He truly looks like he can be one of the extremely bright stars that this sport has seen in quite some time. With a record of 17-0, it is clear that he has no reason to let off the gas now. Riding a 6-0 hot streak under the 6-0 umbrella Adesanya is looking to light up the division with his eyes solely set on Mr. Jon Jones. Please do not get it twisted, He has Jons attention. However, the respect factor isn’t fully there which is understandable, but his work has not gone unnoticed. He will be taking on the Man of the Division when he stays healthy, Robert Whitaker. The crazy thing about Whitaker, you really couldn’t put a bead on him at first. There was something about him that just didn’t ring my bell. With that said it’s hard to deny what this man has done and accomplished in his career. With that said the wars he has been in has led to time away from the cage and a stroke of bad luck has also landed him in sitting out for quite some time in spots. It’s not a good look for him or the UFC, especially when he is the face of the division. The machine needs to keep moving with or without you and if you can’t keep up then you will be left behind no matter how talented you are and the guy is talented. Good takedown defense, good cardio, great chin, great hands and just an overall toughness about him. There is no denying that he is UFC champion caliber. However, the concern on all these layoffs is very real for me. You can’t keep coming in and out of the game and not be active. Especially when you are fighting a guy like Style Bender who is really just transcending the game to his own drum. Timing, cage rust, and even speed and power will all take a while to really hit and make all systems go. StyleBender has been active and he comes in with an aura of confidence that really can’t seem to be rattled. This is going to be a great fight but If Whittaker isn’t the Whittaker that we are used to seeing when he is healthy then we can be seeing him get styled on early. I am not going to sit here and call him shopworn from the wars because we really don’t know that yet, but what I can say is that he is injury-riddled and that is something that just can’t be overlooked. I like Whittaker a lot but I think this fight might be a little too fast for him in spots as things start to heat up.
The Pick: Adesanya
Al Iaquinta $7700 vs. Dan Hooker $8500
Very main event worthy fight. Iaquinta is a guys guy. Just a rough rugged kid with a good solid game but tough as nails and just really gives 2 shits what you throw at him. He is there to fight. He has a good solid wrestling base with a good stand up but what makes him who he is, is his ability to really just be tough in the trenches. You can’t teach that to someone and he is someone that just possesses that. He showed that in his last-minute fight against Khabib when he totally just launched himself into the fire and took a beating but at least made it to the horn. It’s his style and it’s his way. With 14 wins and 5 loses he has 7 by way of KO. In his 5 losses, he has shown a kink in his game getting submitted 3 times and went to the cards 2 times. He is fighting someone that is honestly on his level when it comes to toughness and he proved that in a fight that he took a beating that I honestly don’t think that I have ever seen in quite some time. The people in his corner along with the ref let Barbosa put such a beating on him that it would for sure scar his career and take something from him. He did bounce back with a big win against James Vick but without a doubt won’t be putting Al and James in the same category when it comes to sheer toughness. Hooker has some magic in his hands and he really has a solid Submission game as well. With 18 wins, he has 10 by KO and 7 by way of decision. In his 8 loses he has only been KOD 1 time and submitted 2 times. He holds the more technical end of things but that won’t make it any easier when Al keeps pushing forward on him. With that said I just think Hooker has a little more speed and length in this fight, more avenues to win, and even the beating that he took against Barboza, he seems to be the fresher fighter of the 2. Very tough fight and you can never count out Al, but this is Hookers fight to win if he really wants it.
The Pick: Hooker
Tai Tuivasa $9300 vs. Serghei Spivac $6900
This fight has Tai written all over it so I won’t spend too much time on it. Tai was supposed to be a breath of fresh air for the heavyweight division and for a short stint he absolutely was. Then in his last 2 fights, it just seems he could not get out of his own way. The UFC has not given up on him because the Division is starving for Heavyweights but there is no doubt that he is in a situation where he needs to make good of this fight. He will be taking a guy with an extremely cushioned record and the only fighter that is worth anything is Travis Fulton who is so shopworn that he shouldn’t even be fighting. The guy has over 300 fights and although he was tough in his day, the bell passed him 100 fights ago. Sad but true. This is a feeding ground for Tai and if he can’t get this one done and perform a Shoe-ie for the crowd then something is going to seriously have to give.
The Pick: Tai Tuivasa
Luke Jumeau $7800 vs. Dhiego Lima $8400
This is a fight where both men are sitting on the equation of good and meh. Lima, I’m the shadow of his brother has had some good moments, some really bad moments, and then back to some good moments. There is no doubt that he is only a shell of his brother but serviceable he is. With a 14-7 record, he has had a bit of an uptick since losing 2 straight. Now riding a 2 fight winning streak he will look to keep the momentum going. With 4 wins by KO and 4 by submission, Lima has the ability to finish high and low but his long frame gives him much more of a thirst to trade, but the problem is he isn’t very good at either. Luke is the same type of fighter. Serviceable in areas but we just can’t dial in on what he is good at and what his main suit to his game is. With a 13-4 record, Luke has 5 wins by KO and 4 by submission. He does have some good wins under his belt but he hasn’t beaten anyone that would make you really want to buckle up and watch him fight. It’s just 2 styles that really seem to be lost in space. No real tie in. No real fluency. Just a normal scrapping style on both sides. With that said I do like the way Luke funnels his ground game a little better. It’s not smooth nor is it seamless, but he does have a more aggressive presence to his game. Lima seems to just fine when he is dictating the pace, moving forward and getting what he needs from you as far as biting on what he is trying to serve in the moment. You can’t move back against Lima. You need to push against him and take away that option. Make him have to change sets and adjust, this is where he has his problems. Luke is not the most talented fighter, but he will move forward and he will cause waves and if you cause waves with Lima and don’t allow him to get comfortable for a minute. There he will make his mistakes and there is when the fight will start turning. If Luke keeps the pressure on and keeps his chin tucked he should come out the victor in this one.
The Pick: Luke Jumeau
Justin Tafa $8300 vs. Yorgan De Castro $7900
Ok…. Both of these guys are not good. Period. Tafa is a sloppy fighter that has good power but leaves his chin totally exposed and really has no reasonings or methods behind his punches. He is 3-0 with 3 KOS so it is expected for him to really not be so good. With that said, how do you really pick anyone here? Yorgan is not that far off with a 5-0 record with 4 KOs. Very similar in his approach. Everything is just really sloppy but he does throw kicks and although they are not pretty, he does throw them. All you really need to know is someone really should get KO’d here. They leave themselves way too exposed not to be. Im taking the dog here because of his ability to go high and low but nothing will surprise me here.
The Pick: De Castro
UFC 243 PRELIMS
Jake Matthews $9100 vs. Rostem Akman $7100
Jake Mathews is one of those guys that you went to school with who just had that ability to be a good athlete. At 25 years of age, the 14-4 fighter has shown us that youth and ability will, in fact, win you fights but in the same stroke, you need a little more. He has had an up and down UFC run but he’s young, raw and still learning. In his 14 wins, Jake has half of his wins by submission and 4 by KO, so the ratio of finishing is there for him and so is the ability to finish both ways. However, it seems as if Matthews still has much to learn and that’s ok because the important thing is that he is in fact improving. The tools are there and there is still plenty of time for him and his chosen team to take all the elements of his game and wire them together to make them play in concert with each other. He will need to really be on Q against Akman. Akman came into the UFC on short notice as one of the bigger dogs on the card and against Sergey K. and boy did they put on a show. He displayed very good cardio, good hands, and a very, very good durability about himself. He presented himself extremely well, and he also showed that he belongs there and is game for a scrap, no matter who and no matter the circumstance. With a 6-1 record, there is no Cage bump with this kid despite his experience, but you do wonder if that was just a flash in the pan performance. With 5 Kos in 6 wins, there is no secret that he likes to push the pace and get things done before the horn, But Jake Matthews is going to present a bit more of a problem then a rusty Sergey did. Akman is really going to have to stay on his feet here in order to win this fight because although he showed a good amount of power and strength, Mattews is a bit of a brute with a very good ground game. It is going to be interesting to see where Matthews chooses to play here. I think if it does stay standing then this can be a very tough fight for both men, but if Mathews decides to ground him early, then I can see Mattews either making work of him or riding this out to a lopsided decision. I know Akman looked very good in his first go with no notice, and you wonder if he will be able to look even better on a full camp, but at the end of the day Mattews is just going to be too much for him, and eventually, the ground game of Matthews should take over.
The Pick: Matthews
Callan Potter $7200 vs. Maki Pitolo $9000
The funny thing about both of these guys is in their loses they were both finished every time. Potter has been KO’d 4 times and submitted 4 and Pitolo has been KO’d 2 times and Submitted 2 times. Potter is an aging fighter but has had some good spots in his career. The problem with him is that he just can’t seem to get over the hump when it comes to fighting caliber fighter. It doesn’t make him bad, but it makes him regional. He is long and he actually defends the head very well despite getting KO’d 2 times. He has a decent clinch game and he does understand the fundamentals of the game in its entirety, but he also just doesn’t understand how to really put it all in motion. Knowing what needs to be done and actually putting it into motion is two entirely different things, and at the age of 35, it doesn’t get any easier. Pitolo is a fighter that is aggressive. He mirrors very well and he will hunt the entire fight. That is a trait that I love about any fighter but there are also situations where I hate it. Ya see, hunting is an art as much as any other aspect of fighting. You can hunt with patience or you can hunt with none. He tends to hunt with none in spots and it has gotten him into trouble in the past. Lunging for a fleeing fighter or just reaching too much is not the way you get to your opposition. You need to set traps and create angles. He runs and reaches which in turn will keep you very exposed to an attack right down the centerline. I have seen him cold dusted from this technique before and if he is fighting a long fighter than there is no doubt in my mind that it will happen again. I am hoping he did fix that or at least work on it for this fight and beyond because if he didnt then there can be a big upset on the horizon here. I am picking him to win this fight, but if he doesn’t win then you can guarantee that is because of the chase. I am expecting him to be a little more patient here and wait for his spots but you never can tell when you’re this early in the game.
The Pick: Pitolo
Brad Riddell $8600 vs. Jamie Mullarkey $7600
This fight is one that I really didn’t have to digest all that much. I started with Mullarkey and even tho he dropped his last 2 fights, he really isn’t that bad. Good striking and decent control on the ground when he is there. He understands range and space which is always a very good thing but my issue with him that will soon come to bite him in the ass is that he really doesn’t throw or check kicks. So I knew that there could be an issue here depending on the matchup. With an 8-2 record, the one stat that also stood out to me was that he has been KO’d in both of his recent losses. Not a huge deal but something to really keep in the notepad. Absorbing all that he has shown me on film I moved over to Riddell and there was not much I needed to see outside of a few minutes. He is a seasoned Kick Boxer with an extremely high output in his kicking arsenal. Not really the fighter that Jaime wants to be fighting given his woes. With a 5-1 record, he was submitted in his sole loss but has 4 KOs to his merit. He has all the tools standing and no matter what Jaime throws at him standing, Riddell will really not need to worry about checking any kicks whats so ever. However, he will need to watch for the shot if Mullarkey smartly tries to ground this fight. The issue with that is, once Riddell starts to send messages with kicks that Mullarkey most likely won’t check, then the shot won’t even matter because he will either fear to get too close or not have the spring in his legs to shoot period. Either way, I just don’t see Mullarkey winning this fight unless he grounds this thing very early. Riddell should really chip his way to victory here if he can stay upright which I think he does.
The Pick: Brad Riddell
Megan Anderson $9400 vs. Zarah Fairn Dos Santos $6800
Anderson came into the UFC after a long-awaited entrance. She was the girl that was labeled to be the Golden Child to possibly bring down the crown of Cyborg. Long, rangy, good striking, and very very marketable. The Invicta prospect went on a 4 fight tear TKOing all of her opponents and the UFC pulled the cord and threw her to the dogs right away. No feel-out process, no tune-up fight, and no reason to build her brand. Her first fight in the UFC was against Holly Holm which I found crazy and she lost by Decision. Then she bounced back with a big win over Cat Zingano and then losing to Felicia spencer. Meghan is smart enough to understand how to make adjustments and has the gifts to really make things work well but she has to really start showing now with certainty and concrete evidence like she did when she was torching people in Invicta. She is taking on someone that she really should be able to style on here and if she doesn’t then I can see the eyebrows of the UFC brass start to lift. The 6-2 Dos Santos is really just a regional fighter at best. Does nothing super well from what I can see and she really just seems to be a stepping stone for the hopefully rising star in Anderson. With 4 Kos on her record, she is most likely going to want to stand and trade with Anderson and that will not be wise. Anderson finds her range, ties her up in the clinch when she needs to and has her way with a girl that most likely doesn’t belong in there with her. If she fails this meal then questions will start to swirl.
The Pick: Anderson
Nadia Kassem $7500 vs. Ji Yeon Kim $8700
Kassem is a fighter that really has more marketing appeal then fighting appeal. She is tough, I will give her that, but at the end of the day, it is about fighting and not marketing appeal. You need to really back up what they are selling. She just seems like she has never evolved in her fighting career and she is what she is. This will make her extremely matchup based and that can be an issue going further. Kim is much more of a well-rounded fighter with mediocre hands but a good ground game with a lot of pressure behind it. It is not a fight that I am excited about but at the end of the day, it should be Kim that controls the pace here and really gets what she wants, when she wants it. I am expecting Kim to get this to the floor and Eventually she is going to control Kassem in spots that she is just not able to get her hips loose enough to shake free to obtain space to work. Not much more to say here.
The Pick: Kim
Khalid Taha $8900 vs. Bruno Silva $7300
Silva seems very awkward to me when he fights. He just seems very loose and on wooden legs. With a 19-6 record and 16 by way of KO, it is clear that he has the power to really put you out if he finds his window. In his 6 loses he has been Submitted 5 times which indicates that there is a clear issue with his submission defense. He will be taking on high octane Taha in which also has 9 KOS on his record in 13 wins and only 2 defeats. Both men have never been KO’d but Taha has a very good ground game that delivers some high voltage ground and pound. I see Silva being too stiff here and Taha being able to really change levels and get what he wants here. I am expecting him to try and take control early with some explosive level changes and see how Silva reacts to them. Silva is going to be thinking. His hands won’t fly in comfort and in turn that can be the difference in the timing of who gets where first. I think Taha is a little too athletic and explosive and I think as the rounds go on it is going to rear its head and Taha will start to really pull away on the cards here.
The Pick: Taha
UFC 243 DRAFTKINGS
Whittaker $8200 / Adesanya $8000
Play this both ways and don’t be crazy… Yes, I am picking style bender, but we don’t know what Bobby Knuckles will show up and that is the question in the room.
Al Iaquinta $7700
At $7700, he is never out of the question. I will have some of him and so should you. I am picking him to lose, but there is value here if he can bring back some OG Al.
Dan Hooker $8500
$8500 is a fair price for Hooker. I am not expecting him to finish Al, but Al will bring enough pressure to make this a volume style fight. I’m in lightly.
Tai Tuivasa $9300
If he doesn’t get the finish here, then I think he is going to be in a bad situation. $9300 is a big tag to spend on heavyweights but one I’m willing to lay in spots with a guy that is looking for a win and needs a win.
Serghei Spivac $6900
Luke Jumeau $7800
Anyone against Lima is worth a crack, no?
Dhiego Lima $8400
I’m off him here.
Justin Tafa $8300 / Yorgan De Castro $7900
Someone is getting flattened… Take it both ways with more of a lean on the dog. Not a must-play but one you should have invested in by Saturday.
Jake Matthews $9100
Heavy Price tag against a guy that has shown some very good cardio and durability on last-minute notice. Play this one safe. I wouldn’t avoid it, but he will have to put in work on the ground to get this one done inside the horn. Proceed, but proceed with caution.
Rostem Akman $7100
I think he loses, but he is intriguing. Small dose.
Callan Potter $7200
He has the length to make Pitolo reach for him, but he just isn’t very good. I may take a small plug here, but I am holding my breath when doing so.
Maki Pitolo $9000
Too expensive for me here. He will hunt, and he will look for it, but I am not sure I trust burying my money in a guy who has many holes in his game.
Brad Riddell $8600
Riddell is a seasoned striker with a kicking game that will eat you alive if you don’t check them. I like this matchup. Small dose here.
Jamie Mullarkey $7600
Mullarky is long, but he isn’t going to be able to stand too long with Riddell. The leg kicks that he doesn’t check will be the death of him here. Fade.
Megan Anderson $9400
She should get the finish here. If she doesn’t, then there is a problem. I am putting faith in her that she does, and therefore, I will be taking a few swings.
Zarah Fairn Dos Santos $6800
Nadia Kassem $7500
I don’t see her winning, although, she can be aggressive. It is women’s MMA, and it isn’t the easiest thing to gauge. She has some good tools, but she hasn’t really looked like she evolves from fight to fight on film. She is what she is, and that makes her very matchup dependent. Not interested in this fight.
Ji Yeon Kim $8700
Not interested in this fight as a whole, but if I had to play one, it would be her. $8700 is a tough tag to spend tho.
Khalid Taha $8900
He has the tools to really score well. He needs to pressure and just stay in close. If he does that and can get in some sort of top control, then that price tag is not unreachable at all.
Bruno Silva $7300
He just seems very awkward to me… I am not a fan… I’m off.
UFC 243 PRIZE PICKS
We have a new game in town and it is Prize Picks! This is such an awesome add on to the MMA landscape and I am so happy to be apart of such a cool and unique game. So what prize picks offers is very black and white and it ties in DFS and Wagering all in one format! Quick, easy to navigate, and so fun to play. Here is how it works.
Prize Picks will give you a hand full of fighters with their projected DFS score after their fight. Your job is to basically pick the over/under of their projected total correctly and you win! It’s as simple as that! The kicker is that you can parlay any fighter you want up to 4 fighters. It’s that simple.
I will be adding this to my article every week as an inclusive add on to my already extensive article.
I am trying to give you guys every outlet to win money with my article giving you the best bang for your buck and the ultimate ROI. Below I will give you some of the plays I will be looking at here. I am telling you right now that you will LOVE this game. Use the below link and use promo code ELITE to get started!
MadLab’s Prize Picks!
Lima Under 71.3
Hooker Over 72.4
Taha Over 76
1.6 Units to win 1 Unit
1.1 Units to win 1 Unit
Last Week’s UFC Breakdown